NAIROBI, Kenya, March 2 – Former Harambee Stars captain Musa Otieno has been surprisingly recalled to the national side for the third round of the 2010 World Cup/Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.News Stars coach Antoine Hey said that he had decided to recall Otieno because of his vast experience which will be critical in their quest to qualify for the World Cup in South Africa.
“We need experienced players who are the backbone of our team. He (Otieno) seems to be very motivated and willing to forget about the past and look towards the future,” said hey at his first official media conference on Monday.
“He is keen on helping in whichever position or capacity to help us qualify for the World Cup and Africa Cup of Nations,” he added.
Hey who was flanked by his assistant Khemal Halat stated that he will appoint a local assistant in due course while Wycliffe Makanga has been retained as team physiotherapist.
“We have already identified the individual that we would like to get on board but there are some things that have to be finalized before I make the name public,” said Hey.
“The situation is the same with the team manager and as you may know I’m not very familiar with the local scene so I have to depend with who is recommended at the end of the day,” added the former Liberia coach.
Hey who has also coached Tunisian club US Monastir said that the team will be put through the places in training which was due to start on Monday afternoon.
Despite the amount of criticism that has levelled at the German’s appointment, the massive of task of continuing where Francis Kimanzi left off is not lost on Hey.
“What happened last year was remarkable and a great achievement. We have started a new chapter and are focusing on the likes of Tunisia and Nigeria who are some of the biggest African countries in terms of football,” said Hey.
“Our mission is to qualify for the World Cup and whatever pressure that comes my way I will take it. If things go wrong against Tunisia you (press) can point fingers at me but now we need all the support we can get,” he added.
Hey also ruled out playing international friendlies before the home tie against Tunisia saying that the time he has is not sufficient for players to recover and to introduce the foreign players into the system that he wants to introduce.
The 39 year old said that the time between now and the qualifier will be used for team bonding and coming up with a concrete game plan.